Whether you’ve got a pet you want to include in your big day, or are thinking of something more exotic, there’s no denying that animals at weddings make for some great photo opportunities! Read on for more details on this hot trend and the ethical considerations that come with it…
As our society continues to grow, technology continues to advance, and our consumption habits change, trends change. Although that may come across dramatic, what we love today could be out of the window tomorrow. Despite this, over the last 10 years, we’ve witnessed some interesting ones — from yoga in a sauna to illusion landmark pictures.
When it comes to the wedding scene, there’s a new trend that is emerging. Loved-up couples are bringing animals to celebrate their special day and we reckon that this one is here to stay. Especially since animals often fill us with life and love, which are themes we certainly want to have present. Some wedding venues allow this too, which has made for an even more picturesque ceremony…
When did we start inviting animals to our weddings?
There’s no clear understanding of where the inclusion of animals at our weddings came from. However, many religious countries have included animals in a traditional sense for generations. For example, elephants are symbolic through Asia; especially in India where they’re often used in wedding ceremonies as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
In some Northern regions of India, elephants are sometimes used in the groom’s wedding procession as a form of travel with his family members. As well as this, doves are also commonly used as they can represent hope. Specifically, in the Philippines, China, Ancient Greece and Rome, doves have been signs of purity, love, and devotion.
What animals are we including?
Although tradition is often key to a successful wedding, couples often like to take the road less travelled. People are looking at how they can incorporate the likes of monkeys, llamas and even snakes into their wedding ceremony for everyone to see.
However, ethics must be considered from the planning stages. If you’re looking to release butterflies in the air before a photograph is taken, you’re likely not crossing any ethical boundaries, but taking an elephant out of its natural habitat to use as a prop can be, according to PETA. Although you might have the best interests at heart, and don’t want any harm to come to the animals on your special day, it’s the training they often receive beforehand that isn’t ethical.
Are there ethical options?
Just because you’ve read the above doesn’t mean you can’t have any guests from the animal kingdom at your wedding — you just need to make more ethical decisions. For example, you could contact a nearby llama shelter and invite your furry friends along. You don’t need to enter by elephant to stand out, a horse and carriage will have the same effect. If you really want to make your wedding animal themed, have you considered an animal venue? There are plenty of options and it will definitely make for a memorable wedding!
Invite your pets…
You don’t have to go all out with something out-of-the-ordinary like llamas though, you could just invite your own pets and their friends. A lot of modern weddings have used dogs and cats as ring bearers, how cute is that? Some couples even go as far as dressing them up so they suit the theme. There’s no fun in booking them a night in the kennels or leaving them at home when they could be celebrating the day with you.
There’s no denying that inviting animals to your wedding can make for a memorable experience. Although you may be following tradition, think from an ethical standpoint first before you make any decisions for your day.
Our thanks to Megan Johnstone for this fab article.
Megan Johnstone is a copywriter who specialises in fashion, lifestyle, and contemporary culture. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History with a keen interest in the American Civil Rights movement.